FIELD – AFTER JOHN BERGER

 

This is the transcript of a 4 minute talk I did as the first of The Parallel State’s RANT series. You can listen to the podcast here.

Remember what is was like to be sung to sleep?

 

 

Remember what is was like to be sung to sleep. If you are fortunate, the memory will be more recent than childhood. The repeated lines of words and music are like paths. These paths are circular and the rings they make are linked together like those of a chain. You walk along these paths and are led by them in circles which lead from one to the other, further and further away.

This is a guest blog by curator and researcher Ghazaleh Zogheib. It’s a review of Gil Mualem-Doron’s exhibition Cry, the Beloved Country. Dr. Gil Mualem-Doron (1970) is an Arab-Jewish artist, born and based in the UK. His work is research-based, often collaborative and focuses on issues such as identity politics, nationalism, placemaking and histories of place, social justice, and transcultural aesthetics. His work has been exhibited in places such as the Turner Contemporary, Tate Modern, the South Bank Centre, People’s History Museum (Manchester), the Jewish Museum (London), and Haifa Museum of Art. His work is in several private collections and he has won commissions from organisations such as Counterpoints Arts, Brighton Pride, the Mayor of London and Ben & Jerry’s.…

Last Tuesday evening (5th May), I took part in a discussion about arts and culture during and after Coronavirus. The event was organised by The World Transformed. I’m a strong supporter of this movement. For this session, it asked: “How can arts and cultural workers across the sector find new forms of solidarity during the Coronavirus crisis? How can we strengthen localised organising culture in the creative industries? What economic demands should arts and cultural workers be making in this current moment?”

Here’s my part of the discussion.

You can watch the whole event here.

[vimeo 417690448 w=426 h=240]…


CLICK THE IMAGE TO READ THE BLOG ON SUPER SLOW WAY’S  PEOPLE, PLACE, TIME AND SPACE  WEBSITE.CLICK THE IMAGE TO READ THE BLOG ON SUPER SLOW WAY’S  PEOPLE, PLACE, TIME AND SPACE  WEBSITE.

CLICK THE IMAGE TO READ THE BLOG ON SUPER SLOW WAY’S PEOPLE, PLACE, TIME AND SPACE WEBSITE.

I wrote this article for Super Slow Way, the Creative People and Places programme in Pennine Lancashire. I’m their critical friend. This is a reflection on where Super Slow Way are now and where I think they’re going.

Here’s the opening paragraph:

‘Creative People and Places has shackled itself to a notion of “place” as an area on a map. An area in which people are said to have “low levels of arts engagement”. This is a revealing turn of phrase that is often fleshed out by attempts to explain that these areas of supposedly low cultural engagement are places in which “evidence shows that people are less involved in arts and cultural activities than elsewhere in England” because they “have traditionally had fewer opportunities to get involved with the arts”.…

This is a revised version of Duty Now for the Futurean article commissioned by Collecteurs NY to help launch its SUBSTANCE 100 initiative. The original article was written before the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the UK , Europe and the USA. Duty Now for the Future 2.0 is a call for everyone in the art world to finally wake up to our responsibilities in a world there can be no going back to the crass inequity of our lives before Corona virus.

It asks: Is the time coming when art will finally embrace self-organised alternatives rooted in ethical practice, equitable living, commoning, fair pay, openness and hope?

Street art is an essential part of the Creative Class narrative. Every city has ‘up-and-coming’ areas clad from shop shutters to back alleys, sides of dilapidated buildings to shifty-looking subways, in what has become known as street art. This article argues that the now almost globally ubiquitous street art ‘movement’ has evolved from its roots in class and race conflict and anti-gentrification activism to become a perfect foil for neoliberal capitalism, forming a ‘gritty’ yet colourful backdrop to the Creative City ‘New Bohemias’ that seem to pop-up in every city, everywhere on the planet: a perfect tool in gentrifiers’ artwashing arsenals.

These are terribly dark and confusing times. Corona Virus has changed everything and it will wreak havoc for months to come at least. It is time to put our creativity to use in our communities. It is time to make solidarity and humanity our art.

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Homemade antibacterial hand wash at Space 6 where I work from.Homemade antibacterial hand wash at Space 6 where I work from.

Homemade antibacterial hand wash at Space 6 where I work from.

TIME TO MAKE SOLIDARITY AND HUMANITY OUR ART

I awoke this morning to birds singing and warm sunshine. Outside, there is a freshness in the air. Spring is coming. But this is a strange springtime. The earth still turns, its beauty is everywhere.…

I had a conversation with fellow artist Martin Daws back in 2016. He had a great idea. imagine if artists were employed, full-time to work in communities? We worked on it. Martin then wrote a guest blog here in 2017.

This article sets out how we could easily and relatively cheaply employ artists in everyday community and how such a simple, yet radical system would create just the sort of transformative cultural change that is at the heart of Arts Council England’s new 10-year strategy, Let’s Create.

I’d love to create a working group to develop this idea and hopefully trial it as a participatory action research project somewhere.

This article is my response to the shocking “artist brief” recently published by Wiltshire Council asking for a “volunteer community artist” to do what is clearly a paid piece of work. It’s an example of the increasingly commonplace substitution of properly paid work for artists with free labour dressed up as volunteering. As such it undermines both the fragile arts economy and the reputation of volunteering.

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Silent Rhythm  by Tim Harrisson in situ at Messums Wiltshire sculpture garden.Silent Rhythm  by Tim Harrisson in situ at Messums Wiltshire sculpture garden.

Silent Rhythm by Tim Harrisson in situ at Messums Wiltshire sculpture garden.

Community artists as free labour: Why Wiltshire Council’s “volunteer community artist” is an exploitative example of job substitution

Wiltshire Council is looking for “volunteer community artist/s to engage with primarily children and young people … to explore their creativity and using Tim Harrisson’s Silent Rhythm sculpture at the Nadder Centre … as a source of inspiration.”…

This is my take on why only cooperation and federalism and democratic, participatory community development can begin to heal the divisions that exist in our communities. For me, the Labour party have lost any connection to its roots, so we need to radically renew the idea of working-class movements by ending the elite electoral machines that never listen and that reproduce the very conditions of our oppression that they claim to oppose.

A CHARTER FOR RENEWED COOPERATION?


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2019 was a rollercoaster. Ultimately, Brexit won. What that means isn’t entirely clear yet, but it is certain to be as crushing to many “Leavers” as it will be unbearable for many “Remainers”.…